Craneware’s price may make it takeover target

SOFTWARE firm Craneware could become a takeover target if its share price falls any lower following today’s “small profits warning”, analysts claimed.

The Edinburgh-based company, which helps American hospitals to make sure they bill patients and insurers for the correct amounts, said it will miss City forecasts because it had not signed any large contracts in the second-half of its financial year.

But Craneware said negotiations over big contracts were ongoing and there was an upturn in business from smaller deals.

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Chief executive Keith Neilson said: “This has been a mixed trading year for the group; however we are in a stronger position than we have ever been.”

The firm still expects to post sales of $41 million (£26m) for the year to 30 June, up from $38.1m in the previous 12 months, with profits up 15 per cent to $11.6m.

Analysts at Numis Securities said: “Were the shares to fall much further we can see clear upside from either mergers and acquisitions or, longer term, a return to stronger growth rates.”